Sunday, June 22, 2008

I truly believe in miracles...

...because my miracle is finally here.

I must apologize for the lag in posting the birth announcement... Time had been short with visitors, getting to know our new baby, and adjusting to life with two children. But, honestly and more importantly, I have been cherishing every second I can get with my boys and the idea of anything regarding the internet or anything else has been the furthest from my mind.

So, on to the news. :)

Gabriel John was born on Monday morning, June 16th at 7:34 am after a rather "rapid" response to the labor induction. He weighed in at 7 lbs, 14 oz and 21 inches long (very close to Christopher's stats at birth: 7 lbs, 13 oz and 21 1/2 inches long). And, he is just perfect.

Gabriel right after birth...poor thing scratched his face up because of his way longer than mommy's nails!

Chris meeting his baby brother for the first time (excuse my appearance! No make-up allowed for labor induction! And, man! Do I need a haircut!)

My boys...

Chris holding Gabriel at home for the first time. I think this will be forever my most cherished picture of my boys.

To document the wild ride...because, for me, it was... I am going to write out the entire birth story like I did for Christopher. So, I will always remember this very special day...

If you recall, I was told on June 9th that my induction, if labor did not start by June 16th, would take place the night of June 16th. I was to call on June 11th for the details since it had to be put in the L&D schedule at the hospital (they were trying to get me a private room for the induction so I could have Hubby there this time around - see Chris's birth story on my roommate for that part of the induction...). So, I called on June 11th and was told I would get a call back that day - L&D had not put me in to the schedule yet. Friday afternoon, just as I was about to call my doc's office to find out what was going on, I finally got the call back and was told to report to the PET unit on Sunday night, June 15th at 8 pm - one day earlier than we had planned. So, I had to make some phone calls Friday afternoon to change around babysitting duties for Chris.

We spent a quite weekend with Chris...and Hubby and my FIL putting up our fence for the back yard (only took them a year and several threats to do it!). I casually packed my bag...finished some last minute things. And, we were ready!

On Sunday, June 15th, we brought Chris around to my MIL's house at 7 pm for his "sleep over." He was a little upset with us leaving...for which I felt my heart ripping out (this would be the first time away from him for more than just an overnight). I called my MIL about 5 minutes later from the car to make sure he was okay -- he was playing with my FIL and having a snack. So, luckily, that episode was very short lived...and I could calm down with leaving my baby for several days.

We arrived at the hospital and I was admitted to the hospital at 8:00 pm to start the induction (of course, one of the Indiana Jones movies was on in the PET unit as we arrived...a clear sign of things to come for us!). Medical history was taken (which puzzled me a bit since I had figured my medical records would have been transferred from the MFM clinic in the hospital to the PET unit before I got there...and they were not)...and I was checked. Surprisingly, I was 1 cm dilated at, there was "some" progress made on my own. A fetal monitor was strapped to my stomach, the IV was started (to prepare for the Group B Strep antibiotics later in the night and the pitocin for the second stage of induction later in the morning) and I had a balloon catheter inserted laced with Cervidil at 10:00 pm. I was offered a sleeping pill so I could rest (which I was not offered in Chris' induction)... I wasn't going to take it, but then thought better of it. ;) Even though I did not sleep like a baby, I was able to rest and sleep during the earlier contractions from this stage.

Then, the wait began until the 6:00 am check to see how far along I was. Since I was not in active labor yet, I was not in Labor & Delivery - Dr. D did, however, swing the private room for induction and Hubby was able to stay. YEAH! We watched some TV, talked, breathed through some contractions, chastised Hubby for snoring, slept....much better than my last induction experience! Was able to rest up for, well, what was to come...

At 5 am, I woke up very quickly to some very, very strong contractions - all very low, around the intestinal area. As I started breathing through them, I noticed they were very, very close together: about 2-3 minutes apart and they were getting stronger. I woke Hubby and asked him to start helping me out...the contractions were getting way more intense than I had expected, more frequent, and were worse than what I could feel with Chris' induction.

I was examined at 6:15 am - at which time the balloon catheter fell right out and I had achieved, to the surprise of everyone, 6 cm! Orders to move me to L&D were given...and, after a half hour delay, I was finally moving to Labor and Delivery. However, transitioning from the bed to the wheelchair was not easy - the contractions were still getting stronger and closer together. But, I made it and was on my way.

When I got to L&D, well, things get a little hazy here:

...I kept asking for the epidural and kept getting promised it was coming.

...A doctor came to check me and break my water - what her name was, I have no idea. But, I told her to get lost because the contractions were about 1-2 minutes apart and extremely strong and I was NOT moving for her at that time!

...Another doctor came in (Dr. M) and started his "talk" and asking which I yelled at Hubby to answer them for me.

...I am still waiting for the epidural.

...I am laying on my left side, holding on to the bed rails for dear life as each contraction starts.

...I asked for one of those little pans because, well, I thought I was going to puke from the pain (and praying every second I wouldn't do it). Luckily, I didn't - puking is MUCH worse in my world than anything else!

...I begin to feel a WHOLE bunch of pressure, and realize, well, baby's head is coming out - and I freak and start yelling that, well, "something" is coming out!! Well, neeerrr! How about the baby's head???

Dr. M realizes what is happening and checks me real quick - and pages Dr. D, who is prepping another patient for a scheduled c-section at 8:00 am. He gets the page and can't figure out why it is coming up since I was not in the computer system as being at L&D. He calls in and is told to get down to L&D because I am about to, now!

Dr. D's arrival to my L&D room was basically put on the gloves, run over to reach me and deliver Gabriel's head. YIKES!

About all I remember with the pain of the contractions was Dr. D grabbing my hand, putting my left knee in it, and telling me to hold my leg and push...and Gabriel's shoulders and body was delivered. Placenta quickly followed with no pushing.

All happened so, so fast, I don't remember all that much.

Hubby did clue me in to the fact that the epidural showed up as I was delivering Gabriel's head...and the anesthesiologist just turned around and left the room. Lovely.... Did I mentioned my MIL is having an epidural Tuesday to block the pain she's had for 6+ months so she can start physical therapy? How fitting.

And, Gabe, baby... Thank you for being so kind to your mommy (was Chris whispering in your ear???). You forced your way out with no tear or episiotemy required. Thank you, thank you! You were very kind to your mommy. :)

In the end, however, pain aside.... When I saw Gabriel for the first time, I felt like I was in heaven. Those eyes felt like I knew him forever...that he was always meant to be here with us. I am in love, plain and simple. As I held him (all of the staff left us alone for a long time after his birth), Hubby and I pondered we thought of a name, we asked Gabriel if he liked it. We went through quite a few - most that were "in the running" - and he just looked at me. When we came to Gabriel, he gave me the most peaceful, blissful smile...and we knew we had his name.

Early Wednesday morning, after the few days in the hospital resting peacefully (except for the free-for-all in getting my IL's to be on board with the plans I had made for Chris and Gabriel coming home - soooo glad the nurse suggested the sleeping pill that night!), Dr. D came in to go his final check...and visit for a while. We chatted for about a half hour - about care for me, for Gabriel's circ, etc. But, more importantly, we chatted about how we got here in the first place (aside from, well, DTD)...and how he was so happy for us after the losses we had to go through.

Dr. D mentioned to me that his wife had two miscarriages in between their two sons - which is something he never mentioned to me before. I suppose he now felt comfortable telling me that...and it is sad yet comforting to know why I was treated with such respect and dignity while going through my own losses. He truly understands what we have been through, and how hard it must have been for me to trust that this pregnancy would result in Gabriel's arrival. He understands the apprehension at the thought of more children in the future - which is why he and his wife stopped at their two boys. He was so glad he could be there for us - through finding out I was PG by surprise, to all of Gabriel's development being right on course, and to his quick delivery. He wanted to make sure he would be there for Gabriel's delivery - for our special baby and for us. And, he was glad Gabriel decided to force his way out - if he decided to arrive during the scheduled c-section he had at 8 am, there would have been no way for him to get to us. He was aware that we were going to call TTC quits, and delivering this baby into the world made the troubles of the practice all worth it.

I am so grateful to Dr. D for all he has done for us...and the rest of the doctors involved in caring for me and for Gabriel.

I am very blessed.

Gabriel is a very special baby...he holds so much understanding in those little eyes. I am finally finding the peace I had longed for. He has not replaced the babies I have lost...but, he has helped heal the wounds that remained open for so long and has restored most of the faith I had lost for so long.

I am so very blessed.

Thank you to all who have stopped in at my blog. Your support through my losses and this pregnancy will forever be appreciated.


Alexis said...

He's beautiful..and I'm still crying for all of you.

Best wishes to all of you!

Smooches :)

Tiffany aka Samar said...

Congrats Tina! He's so handsome and that pic of him and Chris is beautiful! <3 I'm in happy tears for you and your little men!

Delenn said...

Congratulations! Both your boys look handsome!

DD said...

Everything sounds just perfect! Congratulations to you and your family on such a beautiful addition.

Val said...

He's beautiful. I'm crying (darn pregnancy hormones). I LOVE the picture of Gabriel and Chris.

amy said...

Welcome to the boys club! The pics look beautiful. Congrats to you and your family.


Sunny said...

So wonderful and so precious!

Lollipop Goldstein said...

That last picture is incredible. Congratulations, sweetie!

Michael, Karen, Morgan, J.D. & Levi said...

What a precious sweet baby and beautiful family! I am so happy for you and your family. Congratulations and God Bless!